Digestion, along with breathing and sleep, is vitally important for good health.
For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has been shouting from the mountain tops about the profound relevance of the gut to our health, both physical and mental. Now, Western scientific research is aligning with this view.
In your gut are thousands of good bacteria that literally act as agents for your health – they digest food, create enzymes and support your immune system. Collectively, this is known as the microbiome.
The notion that bacteria living in your gut can affect your brain may seem odd. Yet a good deal of research indicates that intestinal bacteria are intimately entwined with the function of our bodies – and our brains.
It’s now increasingly agreed that a healthy microbiome – the millions of good bacteria that live in your gut – is the seat of good health. The Chinese have always acknowledged a connection between mind and gut, tying consciousness and digestion very closely together.
Digestion is a corner stone of Chinese medicine. Whole schools of thought were developed way back in the 12th century stressing “the importance of Preserving Stomach-Qi” for good health.
Feelings of stress or anxiety can mess with your digestive system because your brain and digestive system are connected. It makes sense. When we are anxious, we often feel all churned up inside.
I always advise my patients to be aware of their state of mind when sitting down to eat, as emotions can affect the quality of the saliva and digestive juices. When you are relaxed, a hormone known to Taoists as ‘the longevity hormone’ is released into the saliva.
There’s a whole chapter in my book dedicated to digestion and how to give your stomach the time and space it needs to do its job efficiently.
In the meantime, adding a few basic yang sheng techniques into your day will stimulate and support your digestive system. You’ll notice the difference so quickly, I promise. Click here to get started.